Welcome to “The Quickie” — Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s daily tipsheet on the top health care & reproductive rights stories of the day. You can read “The Quickie'' online here.
MUST WATCH: ARIZONA NEAR-TOTAL BAN ALREADY CAUSES DEVASTATION: After a Pima County judge allowed a 1864 near-total abortion ban to take effect in Arizona, abortion providers across the state, including Planned Parenthood Arizona (PPAZ), were forced to pause services and cancel hundreds of appointments. Yesterday, CNN featured a patient of PPAZ, “Jane”, seeking an abortion due to previous near-fatal pregnancies just prior to the ban taking effect. Medical Director of PPAZ Dr. Jill Gibson told CNN:
“To have politicians, who have never had any form of medical training, for them to come into that exam room and make these decisions, for which they have no basis, is completely unacceptable… People are furious, people are infuriated. And, so, I’m really hoping that the electorate will be able to tap into that collective rage at this disruption into our personal lives and demand something different.”
Yesterday, PPAZ requested a stay while they appeal the judge’s decision, citing legal confusion as the reason the ban should be blocked. CEO of PPAZ Brittany Fonteno said in a statement:
“The court’s decision has allowed conflicting laws to take effect and has caused immediate confusion, even among our state’s highest elected officials, as to the status of abortion access in Arizona. This confusion has forced Planned Parenthood Arizona to pause abortion services and cancel appointments scheduled this week – meaning that members of our community once again have been and will continue to be denied medical care that they deserve and need while this decision is in effect. This is unacceptable.”
The CNN piece also highlights the work of Planned Parenthood Votes canvassers in Arizona, who are going door-to-door to connect with voters and ensure they send reproductive rights champions like U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly and gubernatorial candidates Katie Hobbs to office in November.
SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE RETURNS TO CONSIDER ABORTION BAN TODAY: The South Carolina House of Representatives returns at 2 p.m. EST today to consider an amended abortion ban, H.B. 5399. The House first passed the bill — which began as a total abortion ban — last month, and the Senate then amended it to ban abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, which is before many people even know they're pregnant. The amended bill doubles down on the state's existing six-week ban, which is currently blocked by the South Carolina Supreme Court, and tightens restrictions on narrow exceptions for survivors of sexual assault and in cases of some fatal fetal dianogses. If the House approves the Senate’s amended ban today, it will then go to the governor and would be effective immediately upon his signature.
"This bill insults South Carolina doctors, questioning their expertise and interfering in best practices, and puts survivors of sexual assault at risk, further traumatizing them with mandatory reporting and forced DNA collection," said Vicki Ringer, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. "Make no mistake: no matter how many narrow exceptions are written into this dangerous bill, it will cause chaos in the health care system and result in people being denied life-saving care. We’re talking about a fundamental human right, and no amount of amendments make this bill acceptable.”
Read more at WFAE.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD IN KANSAS STRUGGLES TO KEEP UP WITH SKY-HIGH NEED FOR ABORTION CARE: After Kansans voted to maintain abortion protections in their state constitution in August, Kansas emerged as an access state in a region where the majority of states have banned or severely limited abortion access. As the Kansas City Star reported yesterday, Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP), has been struggling to keep up with the increasing demand for abortion care in Kansas. They are only seeing between 10 and 15 percent of patients who call for appointments, often forcing staff members to refer patients to other states to keep up with demand. Crisis pregnancy centers have been taking advantage of the patient influx to target pregnant people in the region. CEO of PPGP Emily Wales reflected on the access crisis to Kansas City Star:
“The good news is we came out in a position in Kansas where we at least can be providing care — 10% is not enough, but 10% is more than nothing, which is what some of our states have… I think there’s a perception that the states that still have legal care will be able to accommodate all the people with need, but that’s not true… So we’re going to try to be thoughtful about what we do next and we’re looking really seriously at whether we need to open another center or whether we can increase appointment access at our current facilities, because the most important thing for our patients is that we are efficient in seeing them, but also seeing them well.”
Read more at Kansas City Star.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD HUDSON PECONIC LAUNCHES NEW PRENATAL PROGRAM — Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic (PPHP) is proud to announce the launch of CenteringPregnancy, a unique and innovative style of prenatal care. Aimed to build community to empower pregnant people, the 10 sessions bring expectant patients to meet with a Centering clinician and group them with 10-12 other pregnant people that are due around the same time. At each prenatal visit, pregnant patients have one-on-one time with their Centering clinician to have their pregnancy monitored and to discuss any private concerns. These sessions also give patients access to pregnancy-related advice including exercise, nutrition, reducing stress, signs of labor, breast (or chest) feeding, new baby care, and after delivery issues. Dr. Meera Shah, chief medical officer at PPHP, stated:
“Numerous published studies show that Centering patients have healthier babies and that Centering nearly eliminates racial disparities in preterm birth. At PPHP we are committed to improving maternal health outcomes and reducing maternal mortality, particularly among people of color. … We are very excited to launch CenteringPregnancy as an option for our prenatal patients. Patients are able to choose which prenatal program is best for them, CenteringPregnancy or traditional individual care. “
For more information, check out www.pphp.org/prenatal.